Top 6 Ayurvedic Herbs For Lungs & Healthy Respiratory System

Ayurveda For Repiratory Problems
Ayurveda For Respiratory Problems

Leave everything you’re doing and get onto this interactive page by the New York Times which ingeniously describes the unhealthy levels of air pollution – not just in India, but around the world. A small excerpt from the study reveals: “On the most polluted day last month, fine particulate levels in New Delhi reached over 900 µg/m3, blowing past the E.P.A.’s definition of “hazardous” air (which maxes out at 500) and into extreme territory.”

Needless to say, if you’re not taking active steps towards protecting your respiratory system, you’re putting your health in grave danger. Unfortunately, with the level of air pollution that’s on the rise, air purifiers and masks can only protect the body as much. What our system needs is a natural cleanse from the inside out using effective herbs and herbal remedies for lungs. Lifestyle coach, Luke Coutinho talks about three home remedies you can try at home:

“The wisest one-word sentence? Breathe.” – Terri Guillemets

The Magical Lung Detox:

  1. Soak 1 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in half a cup of water, overnight.
  2. The next day, start by drinking 250 ml of warm water with lemon and cayenne pepper.
  3. Next, consume the fenugreek water and chew the seeds slowly.
  4. After ten minutes, eat 2 cloves of crushed garlic with a tablespoon of raw honey.

Recipe for Magic Lung Tea:

  1. Ginger (1 inch)
  2. Ceylon cinnamon stick (1 piece)
  3. Basil leaves (1⁄2 tsp)
  4. Oregano (1 tsp)
  5. Peppercorns (3)
  6. Crushed Cardamom (2)
  7. Fennel seeds (1/4th tsp)
  8. Pinch of Ajwain (Bishop’s Weed)
  9. Jeera (1/4th tsp)

The Process:

Take 1 litre of water and add all the ingredients. Let the concoction simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and drink. You can also add raw, organic honey or Jaggery for taste.

Did You Know?

According to research, outdoor particulate pollution was responsible for around 4.2 million deaths worldwide in 2015.

Top 6 Lung-Regeneration Herbs to Stock Up Right Away!

Before we list the herbs, please note that you should consult your doctor/ayurvedic practitioner to understand the correct dosage as per your medical needs, health history etc. Please do not self-prescribe these herbs as they may pose some serious side effects if consumed erratically.

1. “Yastimadhu” (Liquorice): The Best Herb for Your Lungs & for Asthma

Licorice Mulethi Benefits
Liquorice Mulethi Benefits

If you’re looking for a natural herb that’s effective for treating something as invasive and serious as asthma, Yastimadhu is your best bet. What makes it so effective is the presence of liquorice – which is present in the dried, peeled or unpeeled underground stem and roots. In fact, most of the cough syrups and throat lozenges contain liquorice extract as a primary component.

Also known as Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Botanical name) and Mulehatti, this herb is consumed in various forms such as churna (powder), decoction, infusion or lozenges and is effective in treating cough, hoarseness, asthma, laryngitis, and bronchitis.

How to consume it – Recommended Dosage:

  • Root: 1-4 g orally, three times daily.
  • Tea: 1 cup three times daily; 1-4 g powdered root/150 ml water

To treat asthma, it can be taken in the dose of  20-60 g with honey, 3X a day. Dr. Lad in his book suggests that consuming tea made with half teaspoon liquorice and half teaspoon of ginger can help manage asthma and it’s symptoms. Some other remedies include: To treat tuberculosis, take the powdered root of Yastimadhu and wood of Rakta Chandan (Pterocarpus santalinus Linn.) with milk, 3X a day. For treating throat issues, take 16.3 g of the powdered root of Yastimadhu and boil it in 250 ml milk. This can be consumed twice a day. Finally, to treat dry cough and burning sensation, take a tablet prepared from Yastimadhu, pepper, and dry grapes.

Side-effects and precautionary measures to keep in mind:

  • Do not consume it for more than 4-6 weeks.

Consuming it in excess can cause the following side effects:

  • Absence of a menstrual period
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Decreased sexual interest (libido)
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Excess fluid in the lungs (pulmonary oedema)
  • Fluid and sodium retention
  • Headache
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Hypertensive encephalopathy
  • Hypokalemic myopathy
  • Lethargy
  • Low potassium levels (hypokalemia)
  • Mineralocorticoid effects
  • Muscle wasting
  • Myoglobinuria
  • Paralysis (quadriplegia)
  • Swelling (oedema)
  • Tiredness

2. “Khadira” (Acacia Catechu): An All-Round Herb for Promoting Your Lung’s Health 

Khair Tree - Khadira
Khair Tree – Khadira

It is known by many names such as Khair/Khadirkasth (Hindi name) and Cutch Tree (English name) and offers numerous therapeutic benefits for allergy-related respiratory issues.

How to consume it:

Khadira is available in the tablet, powder, or syrup forms. An important ayurvedic tablet – Khadiradi Gutika and Lavangadi Vati – is used for treating cough, asthma, bronchitis in addition to other respiratory concerns. Suggested home remedies include:

  • To treat sore throat, cold, and cough, you can gargle with Khadira bark’s decoction.
  • Alternatively, you can powder its leaves and have it with curd to treat cough.
  • To treat excessive phlegm, take a concoction of Khadira along with bark of cinnamon.

Recommended Dosage:

  • Powder form: 1-3 g
  • Decoction: 30-100 ml per day
  • Heartwood extract: 500 mg – 1 gm per day

Side Effects and precautionary measures to keep in mind:

There are no side-effects of Khadira if taken in small amounts. That said, the following precautionary measures should be kept in mind:

  • Pregnant and lactating mothers should take special care to not increase the daily dosage of Khadira.
  • Khadira can lower blood pressure levels, so people with low BP should consult a doctor before consuming it.

3. “Vidarikand” (Pueraria Tuberosa): An Effective Herb for Lung Support 

Vidarikand Pueraria Tuberosa
Vidarikand Pueraria Tuberosa

Also going by the names of Indian Kudzu (English name) and Swadukanda/Kandapalaash (Sanskrit name), Vidarikand offers expectorant characteristics. Simply put, it eliminates excessive congestion in the lungs and offers immediate relief.

How to consume it:

Take Vidarikand powder along with Mulethi, Sunthi, and Bala. Please consult an expert to understand the recommended quantity for each.

Recommended Dosage:

The root extract is taken orally: 1.5-3 grams (in 3 divided doses per day) for 1-4 weeks. It can be consumed with milk.

Side effects to keep in mind:

When taken orally in excess amounts, the side-effects include:

  • Skin itchiness
  • Upset stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Liver damage (only when taken in extreme amounts and for a prolonged period of time without any medical supervision.)

When injected intravenously, the side-effects include:

  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • In extreme cases, it has known to cause red cells to break inside blood vessels.

Precautionary Measures to Keep in Mind:

  • Pregnant women should not consume it.
  • People with bleeding/clotting blood disorders should seek expert help before consuming it.
  • People on cardiovascular treatment should consult a doctor before taking it.
  • People suffering from hormone-sensitive health issues (think: breast/uterine/ovarian cancer) should avoid taking Vidarikand.
  • People with a history of liver conditions should avoid taking it.
  • It is recommended that you stop taking Vidarikand two weeks prior to surgery as it can affect the blood sugar levels in your body.

Note: Vidarikand can be taken orally (for up to 4 months) or injected intravenously (for a maximum of 20 days). 

4. “Eucalyptus” (Eucalyptus Globulus): A Potent Herb for Lung Infections


This power-house of a herb was first discovered by Surgeon-General, John White in Australia in 1788. Over the last couple of decades, this herb has proved to be handy in getting rid of infections and creating all-healing infusions that ease cough, congestion, colds and fevers when inhaled.

Research suggests that the eucalyptus herb is used to treat cough, asthma, and bronchitis. In fact, Vicks VapoRub comprises 1.2 per cent eucalyptus oil along with other cough suppressant ingredients.

How to consume it:

It is generally inhaled in the essential oil form or consumed as a herbal tea. The best way to use eucalyptus is through steam. Fill a large bowl with water and let it boil. Then add 5-7 drops of eucalyptus oil and inhale. Remember to cover your head and take deep breaths.

How to make Eucalyptus Tea:

  • Take 1 eucalyptus leaf and chop it. Add to one cup of water.
  • Boil it in water and let it steep for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Add honey for better taste.
  • You can consume 3-4 cups a day.
  • You can add peppermint and chamomile to it to make it more effective.

Side effects and precautionary measures to keep in mind:

Eucalyptus leaf is probably safe when consumed in the small amounts found in foods. However, consuming eucalyptus oil without diluting it can be fatal. Symptoms of eucalyptus poisoning include:

  • Stomach pain and burning
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Small eye pupils
  • Feelings of suffocation
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

Important: Please make sure to speak to your doctor as you may be allergic to eucalyptus which can further worsen your systems.

5. “Pushkarmula” (Inula Racemosa): One of the Foremost Svasa-Removing Herbs & for Treating Lung Infection

Pushkarmool - Inula Racemosa
Pushkarmool – Inula Racemosa

Native to the Western Himalayan region, this plant is also known as Kashmira, Orris Root, and Pokharmul. Note that it smells like camphor. It comes with expectorant, anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. This herb helps to treat cough, bronchial asthma, contagious fevers, throat inflammation, sore throat, dyspnea, pleurisy, tuberculosis, and chest pain.

How to consume it:

Typically, the plant’s roots are used to treat respiratory issues as well as cold, cough, and asthma. In fact, it is one of the primary ingredients in the Ayurvedic tonic – Dashamoolarishta.

Recipe for Pushkarmula Tea:

  • Take half teaspoon of Pushkarmula and add to one cup of water.
  • Then add milk or honey (both are optional) as per preference.
  • You can consume it thrice a day.

Alternatively, you can treat cough and asthma by consuming its root powder in 1-3 grams along with Dashmoola decoction.

Recommended Dose:

  • Dry powder form: 1-3 gm, 3X a day.

Side-effects and precautionary measures to keep in mind:

  • It can lower your blood pressure and interfere with your blood sugar levels.
  • It may cause allergy in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family.
  • Pregnant women should not consume it.
  • It is known to stimulate Pitta/bile in the body.

6. “Vasaka” (Athatoda Vasica): A Powerful Herb for Lungs – COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Vasaka - Athatoda Vasica
Vasaka – Athatoda Vasica

Data suggests that COPD is one of the most under-recognised, under-diagnosed, and under-treated diseases in the world. In fact, by 2020, it will emerge as the third-largest cause of deaths. This is where Vasaka can help.

Whether you call it Vasaka or Malabar Nut, this herb helps in treating bronchitis, asthma, excess mucus, and chronic respiratory tract conditions. This bitter- and astringent-tasting herb comprises of two types, black and white. Research suggests that it comes with potent anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties.

How to consume it:

For treating hoarse voice, take 1 teaspoon of Vasaka juice along with 2 teaspoons of honey, twice a day. You can consume it post meals for a week. An ayurvedic medicine, Vasarishta is used for treating rhinitis, cold, cough, etc. The recommended dose for this is 12-24 ml, 1-2x a day. Note that you cannot have sour food when consuming Vasarishta. Additionally, studies show that Vasadi syrup, as well as Shwasaghna Dhuma both, have a beneficial role in the management of COPD.

Recommended Dosage:

  • Dry leaf powder: 1-3 gm, 1-2X a day
  • Leaf juice: 10-20 ml
  • Root decoction: 40-80 ml
  • Flower juice: 10-20 ml

Side effects and precautionary measures to keep in mind:

  • Pregnant women should not consume it.
  • Lactating mothers and people with diabetes should consume it under expert guidance.

A DIY Castor Oil Pack for your Chest:

1. Warm a cup of organic castor oil and soak a flannel in it. 

2. Squeeze and place it over the chest/lung area for 20-30 minutes.

3. A heating pad can be used over it needed. Enjoy a warm, soothing experience.

A Delicious & Nutritious Juice for your Lungs

Add 1 tablespoon of pure, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil and a pinch of black pepper to fresh carrot juice and consume right away for lasting benefits.

Bonus tip: You can try Sitopaladi Churna as recommended by Nityanandam Shree to treat upper respiratory congestion and bronchial conditions. Combining it with Gandhak Rasayana, Yashad Bhasma, and Praval Pishti doubles up as an effective sore throat remedy. To treat dry cough, mix 2-4 grams of Sitopaladi Churna along with 5 grams of ghee and 2.5 grams honey.

There you go. Try these super-powerful home remedies and herbs for your lungs, and breathe a sigh of relief (pun intended)!


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Writer & Blogger, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder and CTO Turiya Infotainment Private Limited I am an Ayurveda enthusiast and have a deep love for everything natural. I am also a software engineer by degree and now I work as a full time blogger on Honey Fur! I have been learning about Ayurvedic principles for past 7 years now and have completed certificate courses from the Kerala Ayurveda Academy. The courses I have completed are: Ayurveda For Women Care: A course which deeply dives into women health problems like menorrhea, leucorrhea, amenorrhea. It also gives a detail study of child birth and pregnancy care, pre and postpartum. Ayurvedic Cosmetology: This is a lecture and video course which deeply dives into Skin Care, Hair Care, Eye & Oral Care & Common Issues and solutions pertaining to the same.

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